Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Something to Live By

1. Loving Trust 2. Total Surrender 3. Joy

Mother Teresa of Calcutta

I guess that is it in a nutshell! If I am not experiencing joy then something is amiss with the first two items. Ah gee Mom - I wish I could get it right sometimes! But I am confident that as I ponder and live with this saying that it will rub off on me and God's grace WILL change me simply because He will honor my request. I will never comprehend it - The Lord's interest in little ole me but I am so grateful - am I grateful enough to lovingly trust and totally surrender? Apparently sometimes not! Please dear Lord rescue me from myself!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Who's in Charge?

As I foster two new motherless goats I am made aware of how important it is, as an animal husbandry person, to make right decisions for them. In fact, animal life here is always a question of who is in charge. Animals' god is the belly - safety, comfort and play - and food! They are constantly asking for it. They are constantly manipulating for it. And I know that if they are irritating me it is because I have failed to establish mastery over their appetites. (Oh yes, any animal failure is the human's fault, make NO mistake about it and once you have accepted that then you can fix your problems!)

So the babies - Yuki and Oto - they are about two weeks apart and fortunately buddies, not common since they are not herd related at all! I must regulate their bottles even when they frantically pester me for one. I must take them on long, ambling walks as they maddeningly lip a leaf as they slowly develop a taste for vegetation. I must teach them to follow, comfort them and give them the touching they need. No, I WILL not lick them however my dogs have stepped up to bat!

Oto came to me mostly dead. He was born during the nine degree nights we had and even though he is a big fellow he wasn't eating. My son Bernard helped me and had the great idea of feeding him with a dropper. Within a few days he was suckling and gaining strength. He was totally disoriented. He would shuffle to a corner and stand staring at the wall with a piteous bleat. It was fascinating to watch him learn to get a handle on his surroundings and the safe things to follow. Yuki has given him some goat sense and comfort - God provides!

But as I make life decisions for animals I realize it takes a form of self-mastery. I cannot indulge them, they don't understand it. I must relate to them in non-addictive ways and be not a friend but a kind lord as it were. It helps me understand how I must exert self-mastery over my appetites as well. I am not so very successful at it but I am understanding it better. The more I am a good "shepherd" so to speak, the better I am learning that it starts with me.

What a gift - self-mastery! To kindly but firmly say to myself "Keep your commitments. Develop your relationship with God as MOST important. Serve Him day in and day out. And by all means don't whine!" Goats are terrific whiners - and I can't help but think that I sound awfully like them sometimes!

When I got my Anatolian Shepherd dog Hannah, she upset the delicate balance of my four dog pack. The one male dog, Dozer was the most put out. He assumes he is in charge, a carefully cultivated illusion Darby allows. He would lunge at her, growl, bare his teeth. (Always when she was behind the fence. Hannah is twice as big and could take him out with one bite). I kept yelling at him to stop. Then in the middle of a lunge I saw him hesitate, stop and turn away. He, a dog, mastered himself. And I couldn't help but think that if he could do it I could! And how many excuses I make when my delicate balance is upset! You go Dozer!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I might be tooling down the road kinda sorta driving over the speed limit. So I watch carefully and in my mind I am trying on excuses in case I get pulled over. I come up with some really good ones but I know that once the lights flash and I pull over I will be stammering out my yes ma'ams or yessirs. But it is a game a play that allows me to laugh at who I really am.

The best excuse is to overeat and promise to make it up the next day. I did that for quite a few lifetimes.

Awhile ago I thought to enhance my attention at mass I would study the readings the week b4 mass. I was pretty faithful to it and have benefited greatly - how can I not? But as time went by I didn't do it first thing. I had plenty of time during the day. Not! So at mass I was asking the Lord what He would have me do and I felt that he grinned a little bit and said, "See if you can read the readings everyday first thing." That is the starting point. Easy! Easy?

You have no idea how many distractions there are at 5:30 am, even with no radio or television. I brew my coffee (yes an article on addictions is forthcoming) and pull out the Bible. Oh - I need to listen to the weather on my walkie-talkie - very important for the livestock! Oh - I need to write that note to remind myself to call so and so. Oh - I need to sweep up that grass that came in with my boots last night. Oh - I need to wipe the counter......!!! You get the idea. And ALL He asked me was to read the three readings first thing. He didn't even ask me to do a Bible study! I am glad that God has a sense of humor.

So I have been doing that. When things try to pull me away I have been disciplining myself to such an absurdly small thing - so that I may earn the right to do greater things for Him.

As I foster two goat babiesrealize that there are no excuses. They need fed, comfort safety and to learn to grow up. They demand it believe me! And if I am responsible I meet those demands without excuses. God doesn't not demand! He asks! So if I am to mature I must respond to the asking and not the demand. Please God help me to grow up.

Posted, picture of goat baby with one of my babies - Bernard all grown up! He is back from Afghanistan and I couldn't be prouder of him! He is such a wonderful man and such a great companion. He inspires me greatly and I am so grateful that he is my son.

Monday, February 2, 2009


There is one advantage of necessity; there is one joy to be found in biting need. There is a consolation even when the darkest clouds overshadow. It is this: we have an opportunity of registering a supreme act of trust and confidence in a Being supremely and infinitely good and loving. It is not so much that we do a thing or get a thing or have a thing or have any prayer answered but that we show an invincible faith and courage in Jesus Christ. Fr Thomas Augustine Judge

"God is my refuge and my strength, ever near to my heart. What should I fear though the earth should shake or the mountains fall in the sea - God will be my stronghold forever! Psalm 46

May I always embrace all that God sends my way! All I ask is for courage b/c I am the biggest coward on the planet - yet God will fill my lack - He certainly knows of what I am made. It is really cool to have the mindset of Fr Judge who was no stranger to insurmountable odds or adversity. He met it all with cheerful faith, never flagging never doubting. I hope that I can demonstrate that same cheerfulness and trust. I believe we are in for many turbulent time when we must choose between God and our comforts. But be at peace, God is ordaining it and we can completely trust in his Fatherhood! May I always be in the hands of God!